Celski and Smith lead US short track trials

The Associated Press Updated: January 3, 2014 at 3:15 am • Published: January 2, 2014 0

KEARNS, Utah — J.R. Celski and Jessica Smith won both of the men's and women's time trials at the U.S. Olympic short track trials Thursday.

Celski won the opening nine-lap time trial in 1 minute, 21.667 seconds at the Utah Olympic Oval. He came back later to claim the four-lap trial in 36.269 seconds. He won two bronze medals at the 2010 Vancouver Games.

Seeking her first Olympic berth after missing out four years ago, Smith won the women's nine-lapper in 1:28.117 and followed up with a win in the four-lapper with a time of 39.317. The former inline skater from Melvindale, Mich., finished one spot out of an Olympic spot in 2010.

Both Celski of Federal Way, Wash., and Smith earned a total of 1,000 points for their two victories, putting them atop their respective overall classification standings after the first of four days of competition.

The same five men finished in the same order in each of the time trials.

Chris Creveling of Kintersville, Pa., was second in both races. He finished in 1:22.242 in the nine-lapper and 36.410 in the four-lapper.

Eddy Alvarez, a former inline skater from Miami, was third in both. John-Henry Krueger of Pittsburgh was fourth in both. Jordan Malone of Denton, Texas, finished fifth in both.

The four-day trials will determine the U.S. team for next month's Sochi Games. The men's team will have five members; the women's team will have three because the U.S. failed to qualify in the relay.

On the women's side, Emily Scott of Springfield, Mo., was second in both time trials. She was timed in 1:29.365 in the nine-lapper and 39.698 in the four-lapper.

Alyson Dudek of Hales Corners, Wis., was third in both trials. Sarah Chen of San Marino, Calif., finished fourth in the nine-lapper and fifth in the four-lapper. Kimberly Goetz of Flemington, N.J., was fifth in the longer trial and eighth in the four-lapper.

The top 16 men and 16 women advanced to three days of racing that begin Friday with the 1,500 meters.

The only surprise came on the men's side, where 2010 Olympian Travis Jayner was the lone skater to fall. He crashed on the straightaway in the nine-lap trial and was given a re-skate. He finished 16th, grabbing the last available spot.

Jayner was seventh in the four-lapper, putting him eighth in the overall classification.

 

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